Monday, June 29, 2015

Open Streets

Having missed out on the two previous OpenStreets, I decided to take advantage of yesterday's event even though the skies were drizzling off and on all day.
Several miles of Penn and Butler streets were shut down to motor vehicles making them open to pedestrians and cyclists (IE: "people").
The haters ranted about how previous OpenStreets had hurt some Strip District merchant while others found it to be a boon.
In order to give a boost to the Strip merchants, I made an effort to do some shopping. I picked up some things for the kitchen at 'In The Kitchen' and bought some produce at Stan's.

The line at DeLuca's is no indication that businesses suffer during OpenStreets!

I brought an extra pannier to haul my purchases.

I headed back to base to unload my goods, ditch the second pannier and get some more riding in. I had this encounter on my way back. The number of close calls is wearing on me.

I'm already a regular patron of PennMac for the BreadWorks pepperoni rolls.
 They're worth a 6 mile trip.
I found a paper/guerrilla mural of Houdini in Lawrenceville

I looked everywhere for BikePGH!'s 'I Heart My Bike' booth, but it was nowhere to be found. Denied AGAIN. I wonder if they didn't run it because of the rain...

I saw the Beeches manning a "Try a Uni" tent and considered trying my hand at riding one, then I remembered I can barely stay upright on a two-wheeled bike and I rode past. I think that was a good decision.

I ran into Joanne riding a scooter of all things. Her kids were on bikes!

Back to Downtown for a chicken quesadilla at the food truck at 6th and Penn. This rivals Taco Truck. So good, so much chicken!
The rear rack also doubles as a dining table

Sunday, June 28, 2015

It's as if I'm cursed or something.

Please, stop this. I can't take this stuff anymore. If lousy inattentive drivers don't kill me, the near misses will give me a heart attack.

I was enjoying my day tremendously until this little heart-stopper happened.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Thanks, Officer Awesome.

While riding to PNC park to attend a game today, I was nearly sideswiped by a car. It happened right in front of a police officer who immediately told the vehicle to stop and I assume he scolded the driver for being an ass.

Version one of the video is my first attempt at PiP editing, apologies for the less than optimal synching.

A side-by-side edit... I managed to synch this one better.

This is the full version from both cameras:

Thursday, June 25, 2015

"Nice Work!"

It's always good to hear encouraging words from cyclists.
A cyclist coming the opposite way has some praise for a driver of an SUV running a red light and blocking the bike lane and menacing pedestrians.

This is my first attempt at 'side-by-side' video editing. iMovie is fun.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

What are 'Things That Fell Off Red's Bike This Week'?

Two close calls with expensive bike gear recently!
Returning from a ballgame and with a car close behind me, my Light and Motion headlamp fell off and nearly into the spokes. Ugh, my fault: I didn't secure it properly. I stop traffic behind me before it gets crushed and retrieve it and secure it onto my bar extender again. A few feet later, the whole bar extender falls off. ARRRGH.
The bar extender is trash now, the light survived in tact.

A few days later, this happens:

Wow, these things are durable: I was going 20 MPH when the camera popped out of the mount... maybe I didn't slide it into the mount all the way? I did hit a manhole pretty hard, but still.... I'm paranoid now that the Fly6 will fall off again.

Friday, June 19, 2015

MS 150 on a HelBike and an intimate flock

2015 was the 30th anniversary of our bike tour fundraiser: Escape to the Lake
One rider named Greg arranged to take a Bike Share HealthyRide bike along. So much awesome! He swapped out the saddle for his own Brooks too.

 A killdeer had made a nest in the middle of the parking lot.  Kind people put up caution tape around her.

There's a Toynbee tile there and I can't wait to see it!
A few weeks ago, I noticed a piece of tar paper in front of the 16th street bike box, I'm convinced this is the protective covering of a new Toynbee-style tile.

Before Flock, I was hungry. Conflict Kitchen had a 'Juneteenth' menu (two days only!) with many enticing southern foods. I got the red beans and rice, mac and cheese and corn bread. Naturally, it was way more than I could eat and I shared with Marko and Geoffery who were taking shelter from the drizzle under the Big Schenely Tent with me.

A small Flock today: just 8 of us.

The mural is coming along.

I think we inadvertently invaded someone's meditation circle of inner peace at the Point. 
Sorry, lady.

OMG, I got a QOM!??!
I also achieved a PR on the Junction Hollow climb up through Schenley Park which I ride on a semi-regular basis. I find it interesting that my best times are those when I'm riding with people: either a group or, in this case: Marko. My legs seem to get lazy when they're not trying to keep up with others and are inspired to keep pace (or not slow down the pace as much) when I'm with those who have less (or no) trouble on hills.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

A big mural, Geese Police, Juneberries and the opposite of OpenStreets

Rode down to the Point to see the preparations for the Arts Festival  and I encountered some interesting stuff:

Geese Police Patrol Dog on duty:

Improperly disposed fishing line

An art installation at the Point:

A new mural along the Allegheny has just started:

On Saturday, I wanted to get the obligitory "I Heart My Bike" photo with Fizz. I've had one taken with The Lilac Monster and Ruby but I've not yet had one taken with Fizz. Denied. They aren't doing the photos at the Art Festival this year, I was told to try at OpenStreets later this month. I'd even gussied Fizz up by selecting a certain pannier and cleaning her frame and wheels. *sigh*

Off I went to search out berries.

I was riding by a parking lot attendant at the Carnegie Science Center and as I approached, she called out to me: "Are these edible?" and pointed to the shrubbery at the entrance to the parking lot.

A: I suppose I look like someone who knows about edible plants and wild fruits? Cool.
B: OMG! Look at all these Juneberry shrubs!
I spent a good 20 minutes picking berries, loading them into a ziploc bag and making conversation with the attendant.

Juneberry shrubs line each side of the entrance, roughly 10 bushes total: all producing large volumes of fruit.

A mulberry bush I raided

My haul. I wound up eating as many as I picked.
Here's some Cheerios and mulberries with almond milk. So very good.

On the way back through town I was trying to get from the Blvd of the Allies over to the Clemente Bridge and avoid the traffic and sea of humans attending the Festival and a Taylor Swift concert. No such luck: I walked my bike all the way from Market Square to the 6th Street bike lane via walking the bike on the sidewalks. The streets were so jammed with cars that it was just faster and safer to walk.

Walking, walking, walking

Cyclist, repair thyself!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

How to make Angry Robot Panniers

I've got a thing for panniers, I need one for every occasion. Nearly all of them are waterproof and for good reason: I ride in the rain.

A few of my panniers weren't meeting my stringent criteria for reflectiveness and I wanted to add reflective tape to the sides. Sewing them on or using iron-on reflective tape wasn't feasible if I wanted undamaged panniers.
I was in the midst of hunting for an epoxy/glue/adhesive product for this purpose, but I decided to ask Marko what he used to add his reflective material to his red handmade pannier.

He told me he had used double-sided carpet tape

So, I scampered off to Home Depot and picked up a roll of the stuff. It is very sticky.

I gutted some reflective striping from an ill-fitting vest that I hated.

 The panniers I wanted to add the stripes to already had some reflective material on the back and front.

Here's the same pannier with reflective strips added to the side with the double-sided tape.

 I hadn't noticed that the round knob that closes the pannier was reflective until I took flash pictures of it.
*robot arms flailing* Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!

The pair.

Angry Pannier says: "Don't hit us, ya jagoff!"
As an after thought, I wondered if arranging the reflective pieces in the shape of an angry face would help. As they are, they remind me of a robot's face. Perhaps Bender or a Cylon?

I did the same with my Banjo Brothers pannier.

My eyes!